My mom worked long hard hours as I was growing up. She was a single mom just trying to provide for us. As much as I remember her having to leave the house early to get to work and then getting home late most nights, my mind is filled with amazing memories of all the fun we had through the years. My early years I felt like it was the two of us against the world. I have a vague recollection of sweet friends who I got to hang out with for hours every day never really knowing that I was really getting babysat by their moms. My mom was such a gift and so talented at making the most of all the time we had together.
Now as an adult and a mom of five, I want my kids to have that same sense of wonder and fun that I had growing up. My desire is for them to look back on their time in our home with great fondness. As I’ve been reflexing on the past and seeing what is working now in my home, I thought I’d share a few of the elements that have made the most impact in creating fun family memories.
- Laugh together
Whether it’s watching funny movies, playing silly games, or just retelling funny family stories, laughing together creates solid memories. Even in the hard times, my family has learned to focus on the blessings we have and to laugh at how crazy things sometimes get. Laughter also releases endorphins and decreases stress hormones. So, it’s good for you!
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
— Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
- Play together
Building on laughing together, our family likes to “bring the fun on” by playing games together. We are big time “gamers” in our home. We have cupboards and shelves filled with card games and board games. Granted there are some competitive games where we have to be a little careful while we play. Getting outside and adventuring together is amazing as well. However you choose to play — PLAY! Have fun and create memories!
- Read together
The most important book to read together as a family is the Bible. Family devotion time is central in our home. Praying together is also vital to the health of our family’s unity. There is something so special about coming together in prayer and digging into the Word. However, even beyond reading the Word together, finding great books to read together is also really great. My boys still talk about when my husband read them The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe over the phone while he was traveling. He’d read little bits of the book each night and his travel schedule didn’t even get in the way. Now with Skype and FaceTime, it’s even easier.
- Eat together
There is so much research out about the positive effects of sitting down together around a meal. Sometimes it takes some creativity to make sure we’re all eating at the same time as my kids get bigger and their schedules fill up a bit more. However, we make it a point to eat together for as many meals as we can each day. Often we’ve had to move dinner times around to make it work.
- Be together
Overly busy schedules kill togetherness like nothing else. It makes it tough to find time to eat, read, play, and laugh together. There are sometimes just seasons and situations that make being together for long periods of time difficult. However, we really try to be intentional and pray about what we are allowing into our schedules.
Creating family memories doesn’t have to be expensive or some lavish, complicated thing. Just find time to have fun together — and enjoy your family!
Blessings and joy,
P.S. If you’d like a free digital copy of my Sanity Savers for Moms book, you can get a copy here. I hope it blesses you. I also have some really fun giveaways going on with my Simply Joyful Podcast. Be sure to check it out HERE.